200, 000 new homes built a year by 2020
Britain's housing shortage is part of the cost-of-living crisis, and the Tories are making it worse. Millions of working people cannot buy the homes they want – today it takes an average family 22 years to save for a proper deposit on a home, and the nine million people who rent privately are finding rent payments increasing faster than wages. In some parts of the country, like London, tens of thousands of homes are standing empty while new homes are sold to foreign buyers.
Yet under the Tories, we are building fewer than half the number of homes we need to keep up with demand. David Cameron has presided over the lowest level of housebuilding in peacetime Britain since the 1920s. If unchecked, the gap between the number of homes we need and the number we build could rise to 1.3 million by 2020, the equivalent of three cities the size of Birmingham.
If home ownership is to be a realistic aspiration for working people, and if rents are to be affordable, then we need a step change in the scale of house building in this country.
Labour has a plan to make this happen:
- We will get 200,000 homes built a year by 2020. This will close the gap between the number of homes we build and the number of homes we need, as well as providing up to 230,000 jobs in construction.
- We will unblock the supply of new homes by giving local authorities "use it or lose it" powers over developers who hoard land that has planning permission so that they can sell it on for a bigger profit, instead of building on it now.
- We will deliver a new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities, and give a new "right to grow" to communities who want to expand but are blocked by neighbouring local authorities.
- We will tackle empty homes by giving councils more power to charge higher rates of council tax on empty properties, and ensure new homes are advertised in the UK first, not overseas.